Newcastle bankers strive to make life better for young people in company initiative

Staff from Virgin Money in Gosforth, Newcastle, are doing their bit for youngsters by taking on the Virgin Strive Challenge

Phil Atkinson, Tom Crossley, Gavin Wye, and Dan Edwards from Virgin Money who are part of a team taking money in a scheme to help young people
Phil Atkinson, Tom Crossley, Gavin Wye, and Dan Edwards from Virgin Money who are part of a team taking money in a scheme to help young people

Bankers from Richard Branson’s Virgin Money in Newcastle will push themselves to the limit of their endurance to help young people realise their potential.

The financial wizards will put their pens and calculators to one side to take part in a company initiative to make life better for kids with big ideas.

Staff from the Virgin Money office in Gosforth will be taking part in the 2014 Virgin Strive Challenge aiming to raise £750,000 for Big Change projects which will help young people to develop key life skills and to achieve their goals.

The colleagues are split into cycling and running teams and collectively they will run 250km and cycle over 3,200km.

They will be joined along the way by Sir Richard Branson, his son Sam and his daughter Holly, plus a host of celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment.

Those taking part said they were up to the challenge.

Barry Coleman, who is part of the Virgin Money cycling team said: “The Virgin Strive Challenge will be by far the biggest test of my fitness and stamina.

“I am very excited but also a little apprehensive as I have never cycled such a distance before.

“I am looking forward to being part of a great team and the opportunity to make a huge impact on the lives of youngsters throughout the UK. I have been training for the Strive challenge diligently and cannot wait to get started.”

Gavin Wye, who is competing in the running team, said the challenge was the greatest he has ever faced despite already taking part in strenuous running events.

He said: “I have run in half marathons over the years, but this is different. It’s not a race, it’s about being part of a unique event and raising money for a great cause.

“It will be fantastic to meet everyone involved in the core team, and hopefully some of the celebrities and athletes.”

The Virgin Money colleagues taking part in the Strive Challenge are Barry Coleman, David Buxton, Martin Foote, Phil Neale and Phil Atkinson in the cycling team.

Keeping their feet on the ground as the running team are Andy Bobbin, Dan Edwards, Gavin Wye, Rob Skinn, Tom Crossley and Tori Parkinson.

The funds raised by the Strive Challenge will go towards a life development programme –giving young people in the UK an opportunity to learn the skills they need to become happy, healthy and productive adults.

Strive will help teach young people learn about teamwork, communication, and relationships or giving them an opportunity to improve their emotional wellbeing and physical health.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer